Wine Review: 2011 Carlton Brooke by Ty Caton Petit Verdot

My Kings Court

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 1.30.02 PMHappy New Years Eve! What do you do on New Year Eve? We bounced around back in forth of doing an event at a hotel with a five course meal and paired wine to sitting at home and just watching the coverage of New York. I always find that there is no perfect/affordable/reasonable thing to do. Tonight we are going to a nice dinner and then probably watching the ball drop at our house or a friends house.

Today’s review is one of my most favorite grapes that Virginia makes which is Petit Verdot. It is usually expensive and I am told that is because it’s berries are so small and the yield per acre can be low. This is my first chance at a California version with the 2011 Carlton Brooke by Ty Caton Sandy Brooke Vineyards Petit Verdot from Sonoma Valley.

Currently, on Ty Caton’s website they have…

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Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 33

The Armchair Sommelier

scratch and sniff stickers These make me happy.

My mother-in-law gave me a scratch-and-sniff book for Christmas.  Joy to the world!  As a child of the 80s, I have a nostalgic soft-spot for scratch-and-sniff. Remember those scratch-and-sniff stickers the teachers used to put on our papers when we did a “berry good” job on something?  I used to do my homework just for a shot at earning the root beer sticker.

But this isn’t just any scratch-and-sniff book . . . it’s a scratch-and-sniff book about wine!  Oh, and just to make me feel even more mawkish, it’s a board book.


I looked up the reviews on Amazon, and they are mostly (but not overwhelmingly) positive.
You have to take this book for what it is:  cute, fun and a little bit funny.  To those who called the book childish, simplistic and condescending — lighten up, Francis!  It’s not supposed to be an academic treatise on wine.  The market…

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Veal Marsala

Foodie and Wine Lover



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photo (9)

Another year has gone by, but all in all, it’s been a good one for me. This past summer, I made my entrance into the blogging world, and it’s been a fun journey. I would like to dedicate this blogpost to my dear friend Anna who lives in Sicily.  She has been a great source of inspiration in my life, and I am glad to call her, friend. She is a gastronome and enjoys good food. In my family we live to eat and we are constantly looking for new ideas to satisfy our palates. One of the dishes that is part of my repertoire is Veal Marsala. It is so easy and scrumptious, and you can certainly substitute the veal for chicken. Marsala is a city in beautiful Sicily, where this wonderful wine is produced. There are two kinds, one is sweet, normally used in desserts, and the…

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Spanish summer in a glass

Spinelli's Dolce Vita

Who knew Halle (near Brussels) could feel like Spain or even feel like summer in middle of winter?! Andy De Brouwer did as he was the one to create this oasis in his restaurant Les Eleveurs (aka a Walhalla for food and wine 🙂 ) together with the Rueda wine region.  Rueda might not seem too familiar, but Verdejo might ring a bell for more people as it is without any doubt the Spain’s most famous white wine… or one of as technically speaking Sherry (Jerez) is also a white wine 🙂

Rueda location

Rueda location (2)

The Rueda region is located in the North of Spain between Portugal and that other very famous Spanish wine region Rioja. You can see it as the Spanish part of the Portuguese Douro valley as the Duera (Douro) river continues its path in this region. The vineyards/vines in the Rueda region are planted 700 to 800 meters…

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New Pinotage

Mel's Mosaic

Pinotage is one of my favorite wines with that smokey nose and taste.  Then, the subtle leather notes, as well.  And, whenever I can find it in the States, it is always a bonus.  Sometimes it can be hard to get, or you always find the same ones.  So, when in CO the past week or so, I got totally different distributors than what I am used to in DC, MD and VA.  I came across a Pinotage I had never seen before — Barista (2012) Pinotage.  The name itself does it justice — Barista — coffee.  It also has the traditional notes of Pinotage with the smoke, subtle leather and some fruit.  It was in the mid-teens, price-wise.  If you’re looking for a looking for a new wine and/or are a fan of this varietal, totally try it (assuming you can easily find it).IMG_1781[1]IMG_1780[1]

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